Jaya Misra’s erotic novel Kama: The Story of the Kama Sutra is about Vatsayayana who wrote Kamasutra. Set in 273 AD Jaya Misra’s Kama is a fictionalised account of Vatsayayana, trying to imagine who he was, what prompted him to explore ancient texts and ultimately write the Kamasutra. According to the AIS sent by the publishers, Jaya Misra is “deeply influenced by the works of Anais Nin, Erica Jong, and Virginia Woolf, Jaya takes a keen interest in issues pertaining to women’s rights. Jaya believes that Vatsyayana was not a mere ascetic, but one of ancient India’s first feminists”. This may be true but any explorations of Vatsayayana’s “feminism” are certainly not evident in the story. Kama reads like a steamy airport novel happened to be set a few centuries ago.
Jaya Misra Kama: The Story of the Kama Sutra Om Books International, NOIDA, India, 2018. Pb. pp. 335 Rs 295
13 June 2018